Hopes of a 2014 fight between Amir Khan and Floyd Mayweather have been considerably boosted, with the executive vice president of Showtime having claimed that the Brit is a 'leading contender' to face the unbeaten American on May 3.
27-year-old Khan, a former Olympic silver medalist, has seen his popularity fluctuate alarmingly since turning professional in 2005 and his career looked very much on the ropes after consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia but he appears to have gotten things back on track with victories in his last two fights against Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz.
Speculation earlier this month had claimed that Khan was close to agreeing a deal to fight Mayweather and Stephen Espinoza appears to have given weight to such hopes by claiming that Khan is indeed a frontrunner for the bout in Las Vegas.
"Khan is definitely one of the leading contenders for the fight," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"I know Amir wants the fight. Floyd hasn’t made a decision. I expect an announcement by mid-January or the end of January.
“It is still wide open. Floyd has not made a decision yet about who he is going to fight on May 3. Obviously, Marcos Maidana is making a late case and a strong argument for the fight, but Amir is definitely there in the conversation," he added.
Despite the potential riches on offer from such a bout, for Khan to have any chance whatsoever of inflicting a first defeat upon Mayweather seems very unlikely indeed.
Following his win over Saul Alvarez at the MGM Grand in September, the 36-year-old's record has improved to a truly formidable 45-0.